IS AN INVESTIGATION IN ORDER?
by Sharon Rondeau
Last week, a different inmate told us that two inmates overdosed on drugs and that “one died.”
TTCC is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a private company which claims that it operates “safer and more efficient facilities” than beleaguered and cash-strapped government facilities, providing innovative “solutions” to such problems as recidivism and overcrowding.
TTCC is said to be one of those “solutions.”
The Post & Email has been told that CoreCivic uses G4S personnel at TTCC because of hiring and retention difficulties. Months ago, we were told that individuals were brought in from states from as far away as California to serve as temporary staff.
The Post & Email is unable to confirm the number of private security guards or actual CoreCivic staff working at TTCC at any given time since the company spokesman, Jonathan Burns, will not respond to our inquiries, nor will anyone else.
In a reference to the warden and the reported drug use, Friday’s inmate wrote, “I wish Blair Liebach [sic] knew this because blood can [spread] Hep.C.”
Hepatitis C has been noted to be a growing epidemic among Tennessee’s prison population, with only a minuscule percentage of inmates who test positive receiving treatment.
“These junkies are leaving blood all over the big bathroom stalls,” the inmate continued. “What needs to be done is this whole pod have a surprise drug test. I bet it would be 50 plus fail.”
Reiterating that which many TTCC inmates have told us over the last nine months, he wrote, “They let gang members still run wild that how the drugs get in W Building and the workers they allowed to come in.” [sic]
Inmates have reported “gang wars,” described by some as “riots,” resulting in multiple stabbings which are generally not reported by the mainstream media.
A source told The Post & Email that security guards from G4S are contracted to work for 90 days and thus have no vested interest in the proper functioning of the prison.
Since its opening 13 months ago, inmates and their relatives have described the prison as the worst one they have ever encountered. Common complaints have been virtually-continual lockdowns, short-staffing, lack of medical care and prescription drug dispensing, little-to-no access to the law library, poor and cold food, unrestrained gang activity, an infusion of illegal drugs from the outside allegedly supplied by TTCC employees, unsanitary conditions, and unexplained deaths.
A letter dated January 24, 2017 sent by The Post & Email to CoreCivic’s Executive Vice President, Harley Lappin, as well as TDOC Commissioner Tony Parker and spokeswoman Neysa Taylor, has not received a response to date.
Thus far, the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) insists that there is nothing wrong at TTCC. Taylor denied that a Thanksgiving Day “incident” referenced in a CCA-generated memo constituted a “riot.”
The FBI has investigated the smuggling-in of contraband in Georgia’s prisons and an inmate beating in Mississippi, but to this writer’s knowledge, nothing is being done in Tennessee.